Lifetime free admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Yeah, I thought that headline would capture some attention.

But it’s true.  I currently hold a card called a “donor’s lifetime pass,” which allows me free admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.  I received it in 1985, just after I graduated from college.

I was a creative writing major at Hamilton College, and that meant taking a tremendous amount of literature courses – studying everything from William Faulkner and his Southern contemporaries to modern writers and classic texts.  By the time Senior year rolled around, the creative writing majors had to write a credible short story as our final project. While my classmates spent their time writing a 15-page or 20-page story on their durable Smith-Corona typewriters, I went one step further – I used the early word processing programs in the college computer centers – and when I say “vintage,” I mean programs like TXTFORM and Word*Star – and put together a 175-page novella.  My senior advisor at the time, professor A.B. Paulson, saw me bring in my final senior thesis – and almost fainted.

What I had written was a story that mixed baseball, religion and time travel.  In a nutshell, I had built a minor league baseball team in a tiny 1970’s Adirondack town, giving each of the main characters various traits and quirks.  The rookie relief pitcher was scared of throwing anything faster than a knuckleball; the third baseman chased anything that had a skirt and a pulse; the center fielder claimed he last played baseball in 1893 and slept for 80 years; on and on and on.  I wrote most of the book as the inner thoughts and dialects of the players; it wasn’t Bull Durham or The Natural, but it did get me an A+ from my professor.

In working on the book, I made several trips to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, using their library and facilities to look up everything from vintage minor league team histories to player anecdotes and the like.  When I completed the manuscript, I thanked the Hall for all their help.

I then received a surprising response.

“If you don’t mind, Mr. Miller, could we have a copy of your manuscript?”

I asked why.

“As a museum and research center, we collect everything baseball-related.  And, if you give us a copy, we’ll give you a donor’s lifetime pass for the Hall of Fame.  You can visit the museum any time you want, for free.”

With that, I sent them a copy of my manuscript.  A few days later, I received a card that guaranteed me free admission to the Hall. What a great prize!

Now, I don’t know if the policy is still in effect, and I think you have to donate something that the Hall doesn’t already have in its vast collection – i.e., they’ve probably already got more than enough Albert Pujols trading cards and autographed copies of Jose Canseco’s Juiced autobiography – but if you’ve got something in your collection that you feel the Hall might appreciate for their own collection, such as an Albany Senators autographed baseball from the 1940’s, or the jersey worn by Tommy Lasorda when he pitched for the Schenectady Blue Jays in the 1950’s, give them a call and ask about making a charitable donation of the item or collection.  I’m sure they would appreciate it.

Oh, and as for the manuscript – I still have a copy of my own, and a month or so ago I read it, just for a lark.  25 years later, I can see where the story needs a lot of work if I ever wanted to rewrite it or polish it up.

I may do that someday.  We shall see.

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The Return of August Cove Resorts

Okay, here’s the deal.  I’ve got an hour before I head off to Revolution Hall and play competitive team trivia.  I’m trying to download a software program for the Premier Basketball League and learn how to use it.  My car still has a rocksalt glaze all over it from my blizzard trip over the weekend.

RING RING RING RING

House phone again.  I pick it up.

“Hello?”

“Could I speak to Mr. Miller, please?”

“This is he.”

“Mr. Miller, my name is Natasha and I’m with August Cove Resorts, we wanted to let you know that we have a $500 credit for your next vacation in Florida or Tahiti all ready for you…”

Oh no…. not again… not these clowns…

Apparently my prior tactic of playing Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” didn’t give them the hint that I wasn’t interested.  Five months later, they’re back and wanting to suck out more of my money.  Probably for some rickety motel that says D-CON on the side.

Then it dawned on me.  I can get even with these clowns – they’re on a specific quota on how much time they can spend with a client.  If they don’t think they’ve got a shot with a potential target, they’ll hang up and dial someone else on their call sheets.  I refuse to be a hook on their fishing line.

“It shows that you and your wife Wicki went to a trip to Colonial Williamsburg in 2008…”

Again with the typo that makes them think my wife was named after the sound of scratching a record on a turntable.  August Cove has one more strike left.

“And we can give you this credit for Las Vegas, for Miami, for anywhere in our sun and fun network.  So would you be interested in setting up a vacation package with us?”

It is now at this point in time that I decided to channel every elementary school, Sunday school, high school and college play in which I ever acted.  Even to the point where I screwed up a nativity play when, in the role of Joseph, I walked with Kathleen Dugan (who had a couple of pillows under her dress to truly play the role of the Virgin Mary) up to the kid who played the innkeeper and asked for a room.  “But we have no room.” “My wife is with child.”  “That’s not my fault,” the innkeeper said.  I ad-libbed and said, “Well, it ain’t my fault either!”  Yeah, that went over real well at Sunday school…

But back to today.  Natasha from August Cove Resorts was going to get a wee little taste of what happens when her company calls someone one time too many.

“Well, Natasha,” I deadpanned, allowing my voice to slightly drop.  “The fact that you mentioned that ‘Wicki’ and I went to Colonial Williamsburg in 2008… that’s really something.  I know, because ‘Wicki’ went to Colonial Williamsburg all right – but the guy she took wasn’t her husband.”

“So, Mr. Miller, would you like to book a – what did you say?”

I smiled.  Santiago just hooked a marlin.

“That’s right,” I continued, spinning a lurid tale of a romance gone wrong, not even letting Natasha know that “Vicki” and I have been happily married for 15 years.  “When I got married, Natasha, I thought it was for forever.  Little did I know that my wife Wicki would consider ‘forever’ about a month or two.  I thought we would have a long life together.  I should have seen the signs, Natasha… I should have known when I saw that Marlboro cigarette in the ashtray one night – and it’s not my brand – and I know she doesn’t smoke.”

“Oh my.  I had no idea.”

“Yeah, and all the times she told me she was visiting her brother in Utica, and needed to be there over the weekend – and my E-Z Pass bill came back with trips to Pennsylvania and to Massachusetts and Delaware, and she told me it was a faulty E-Z Pass and I believed her, Natasha.  I believed her, why would a woman like to me like that?”

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Miller.  I’ve had guys cheat on me, too.”

Reel it in, reel it in… time to play with this sportfish for a while.  To hell with luck. I’ll bring the luck with me.

“Yeah, and I found out about her going to Colonial Williamsburg.  I saw that picture of her and Eddie.  Eddie, my best friend since we were kids.  Eddie, who always told me, ‘Don’t worry, Chuck, I’ve always got your back.’  That SOB told me he had my back, but what he really meant was he had my wife behind my back!  And then I think it’s all over, all the pain, all the trauma, all the horrible moments and memories, and then you guys call me back after I begged and pleaded with you to never contact me again, because it just brought back every single painful horrible agonizing moment, Natasha.  Don’t you understand the pain you’re putting me through?”

“Mr. Miller, I had absolutely no idea.”

I wonder if Natasha watches any midnight movies… let’s find out.

“My God! I can’t stand any more of this!” I overacted, my voice aquiver in fake emotions. “First she spurned me for Eddie, and then she threw him off like an old overcoat for Rocky! She chewed people up and then she spit them out again… I loved her… do you hear me, Natasha? I said I LOVED HER!!  And what did it get me? Yeah, I’ll tell you: a big nothing. She’s like a sponge. Just take, take, take, and drain others of their love and emotion. Yeah, well, I’ve had enough! I told her to choose between me and Rocky, so named ’cause of the rocks in his head!”

“That’s so tragic.  Mr. Miller, I really wish I could do something about this for you.”

Natasha the telemarketer, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.  Hee.

“You don’t understand.  I asked you and all your other affiliated companies to please never call me again.  Please don’t make me re-live the pain.  And you promised… YOU PROMISED you wouldn’t call.  And today you did.”

“You must be in our computer system more than once, sir.  It’s got to be a mistake.”

“No, I bet it means Wicki’s gone to more timeshares and vacation spots without me.  With Eddie, with Rocky, I bet she went with Brad and Janet, too.”

“Were they friends of yours?”

“They were friends of mine.  WERE,” I enunciated with a fake sneer. Good thing I didn’t bring up the relationship with Riff Raff, Columbia, Magenta and Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

“Mr. Miller, I am so sorry, and I’m writing down all this information and I will take it to my manager as soon as we’re off the phone.  I promise you’ll never receive a call from us ever again.”

I sniffed.  “You said that before,” I replied, my voice letting off a soft crackle.

“No, no, sir, I can’t believe how much pain you’ve endured.  And I want to make sure it never happens again.  You’ll never hear from us again.”

“Thank you,” I murmured.  “I really hope that’s the case.  I never want to hear Wicki’s name ever again, if I can help it.  Don’t ever let me hear the name ‘Wicki.'”

“I’ll take care of it right away.  You have a good day, Mr. Miller,” Natasha replied, “and please accept my sincere apologies.  I hope you make it through this tough time.  I will pray for you.  I wish you the best.”

“Thanks,” I replied.  “You have a nice day too.”

I hung up and smiled.  Chuck Miller 2, August Cove Resorts 0.

Anyone can be a fisherman in May.  And anyone can give a telemarketer what they deserve in January.

From Manchester, New Hampshire to home

Sunday morning, 6am.  I’m waking up from a comfortable sleep at the Clarendon Hotel in the center of Quebec City.  I look at my wristwatch.  It’s time to get out of bed – and drive another 7 hours.

See, when I schedule PBL games to photograph, I can’t just do one game and spend the next day admiring the scenery of the city.  To maximize my efficiency with the Premier Basketball League, I have to try to cover as many games as possible.  So that meant getting everything loaded back up into the Pontiac 6000 – camera equipment, laptop, my change of clothes – and drive down the Jean Lesage Highway toward Manchester, New Hampshire, the site of the next PBL matchup I have – between the Manchester Millrats and the Vermont Frost Heaves.

That’s right, Millrats and Frost Heaves.  Manchester was one of those “mill” towns of the 18th and 19th century, and a “frost heave” is essentially a bump in the road caused by the spring thaw (it’s the reverse of a pothole in this area).

To get to Manchester from Quebec, one must turn onto a separate highway and travel through Drummondville and Sherbrooke.  I don’t even know if I saw any parts of Drummondville or Sherbrooke, because there was so much blowing snow across the highway, I could only see the tracks of the cars that had preceded me on the road.  I passed through the border to Vermont, and that’s when the snow and wind really began to affect my driving.  At one point, my windshield had glazed over with ice and snow, and I was relying on whatever my windshield wipers and defrosters could clear away – leaving me at times with a dollar bill-sized visibility window out of my windshield.  Yike.

Still, I made it to the Millrats’ home court, the field house of Southern New Hampshire University (they’re in the same Northeast Ten conference that the College of Saint Rose plays in).  Plenty of parking, and gasoline nearly 40 cents per gallon cheaper than in Albany.  Sure, I packed that fuel cell with as much juice as I could carry.

The Vermont-Manchester game was heavily contested, and it started drifting into a defensive struggle in the second quarter, with the Millrats leading 45-35 at the break.  Vermont tied it up at various moments, but the Rats’ offense was too strong, and Manchester took a 102-93 win.  Here are some photos –
http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Then it was another 3 1/2 hours to drive home – and of course, I was blessed with a nice blowing snowstorm and poor visibility on the Massachusetts Turnpike.  That, and my iPod developed a freeze, so that meant I was at the mercy of whatever terrestrial radio I could dial up.

Got home at about 11:30.  Was asleep before I hit the bed.

All in all, it was a good road trip – two games, lots of photos, lots of action, and some good solid minor league basketball.

Just the way I like it.

First PBL Game of the Season – Buffalo v. Quebec

Saturday morning.  Loaded up the Pontiac 6000 with my camera equipment, my laptop computer, and myself.  Destination – Quebec City, home of the Quebec Kebs of the Premier Basketball League, who with the demise of the Continental Basketball Association are now one of the only independent minor league hoops circuits.  It’s the PBL and the D-League, everybody else is just playing for practice.

It’s a straight shot up from Albany to Quebec City, up the Adirondack Northway to several connecting highways in Quebec.  A good two or three hours on the Jean Lesage Highway, a refueling at a gas depot called “Big Stop,” and several episodes of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “Car Talk” on my car stereo-connected iPod, and seven hours later I’m in Quebec City.

Last year, the Kebs played their home games at a hockey arena called Pavillion de la Jeunesse.  It was big – maybe too big, because 2,000 fans in that facility looked like 500.  This year, the team has their home games at PEPS, a multi-purpose sports facility on the campus of Laval University.  In Albany-speak, it’s like going from the Times Union Center to the SEFCU Arena – same number of fans, but now they’re closer to the action.

Last year, the Kebs finished the year with a 6-14 record, as injuries to some of their top stars slowed the team down, although center Jonas Pierre made All-League First Team.  Saturday, the Kebs hosted the Buffalo Stampede, also entering their second season in the PBL.  The Stampede had an even rougher year than the Kebs – Buffalo won their first game of the season, then proceeded to lose the next nineteen contests.

It’s the irresistable force meeting the immovable object.  Or in other words, somebody’s going to start the season 1-0.

And last night, it was the Kebs.  In front of a good solid crowd at PEPS, the team defeated Buffalo 100-85.  The PEPS building was rocking with several different promotions, the fans brought signs to cheer on the hometown team, and Buffalo went down to its twentieth consecutive loss, spanning back to last year.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the action.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

This morning, I gotta load up the Pontiac 6000, pack all the camera equipment and my laptop, and make another six-hour drive – this time to Manchester, New Hampshire, where the Manchester Millrats have their home opener against their New England border rivals, the Vermont Frost Heaves.

Kebs.  Millrats.  Frost Heaves.  Normally I would be scratching my head when it comes to such team names.  That is, until last night, when someone at PEPS saw the varsity jacket I bought a few years ago, emblazoned with a dutch shoe logo on the front, and asks me, “Albany Patroons… what’s a Patroon?”

My Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Around this time of year, everybody makes grandiose New Year’s Resolutions that they hope to keep throughout the year, but most likely will completely forget about by January 8.

I’ve been guilty of this as well.  Don’t get me wrong.  Last year I had a resolution to win the Elbo Room Trivia Tournament, Trivia Bowl 5 and the Saratoga Trivia Touranment – so far I’ve had two fails and an incomplete.  I can almost hear Dean Wormer lecturing me about how that is no way to get through my semesters at Faber.

I could go the smart-aleck way and suggest that I promise to eat more junk food and buy more useless stuff, and then if I don’t follow through with those resolutions, then hey it’s not a big deal.  Yeah… somehow that seems counter-productive.

So with that in mind, and with a new decade upon us, here are some of my resolutions that I hope to keep this year.

  • I resolve to enter more photography competitions this year, with the goal of actually winning at least one of them.
  • I resolve to take care of my 1991 Pontiac 6000 for another year.
  • I resolve to write the best articles for my writing clients.
  • I resolve to compete as hard as possible in competitive bar trivia, rather than just blithely saying I’m going to win.  However, that also means I resolve to do my best to win at more trivia games than last year, whether other teams like it or not.
  • I resolve to get back into the gym this year – if not starting with 5 days a week, at least starting with two days a week and working forward, if for no other reason than to turn that Michelin around my stomach into a Schwinn.
  • I resolve to finally get another book published – maybe not on record / music collecting, as was the subject of my first two books, but on a different topic, to the point that my first book signing will be at the Stuyvesant Plaza Book House.
  • I resolve to pare down my personal collections so that all my world can fit into my home office – so that my wife can have all the rest of the space in the house for her stuff.
  • I resolve to learn anything I can about a new topic, and then write a published article on it.
  • I resolve to continue writing my Times-Union blog on its steady schedule of at least one post per day, uninterrupted.
  • I resolve to comment on other peoples’ Times-Union blogs as well.
  • I resolve to read the entire published works of William Kennedy; barring that, I resolve to at least download audiobooks of his greatest works, so that I can hear them on long road trips.
  • I resolve to watch the final three episodes of Dollhouse, even if I’m the last person watching them.
  • I resolve to honor the memory of a tragedy that happened 40 years ago on February 20, 1970.
  • I resolve to enjoy my 25th anniversary reunion this summer at Hamilton College.

And most of all, I resolve to make it to the year 2011, when I can write another column of resolutions like this one… and most likely repeat some of those resolutions then as well!

My Best Photos of 2009

I’ve had some great experiences with my camera this year, both in working with the Premier Basketball League, and in personal shots. In July, I ditched my 5-year-old Nikon D70 for a more powerful Nikon D700, and have added more camera lenses and glass for my photographic arsenal.

So just for a lark, I looked over the thousands of photographs I took last year, and chose what I thought were my ten personal favorites. Here they are. I hope you enjoy them.

BASKETBALL BACKBOARD BLAM!!

April 18, 2009, shot with Nikon D70

Sammy Monroe of the Rochester Razorsharks went up for the dunk, and I thought I would just get a classic reverse two-hand jam photo.  What I didn’t expect was Monroe pulling down the backboard, showering Kenny Langhorne of the Battle Creek Knights with shards of tempered glass.  Shots like these are so rare to capture – I just got very lucky I was in the right place at the right time for this one.

Sammy Monroe destroys backboard.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Sammy Monroe destroys backboard. Photo by Chuck Miller.

THE ORBITER

August 16, 2009, shot with Nikon D700

On the last day of the Altamont Fair, I walked around the entire complex and took as many fun and candid photos as I could.  But as night fell on the final day of the Fair, I set up some lengthy exposure shots, and got this beautiful piece from the Orbiter thrill ride.

The Orbiter.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
The Orbiter. Photo by Chuck Miller.

BENSON CALLIER SLAMS ONE HOME

March 1, 2009, Nikon D70

The Burlington Memorial Auditorium in Burlington, Vt. has a balcony that rings the entire basketball court.  I set up just above the corner of one basket and caught the Vermont Frost Heaves’ Benson Callier slamming this two-hand jam down, as the rest of the players can only watch.  I was testing out a manual f/1.8 lens at the time, so I spent the entire second quarter focused on that backboard – just to get a shot like that.  By the way, this photo later ran the next day in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, one of two times that my photos ran in that publication.

Benson Callier slams one home.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Benson Callier slams one home. Photo by Chuck Miller.

RAINBOW ABOVE HOLY FAMILY PARISH

October 5, 2009, Nikon D700

I had just finished a photo shoot with a couple of friends at Washington Park and was on my way home.  There had been a strong but short rain shower, and as I drove up South Lake Avenue, I saw a big rainbow.  Took the camera and got this shot.  Very lucky I was in the right place at the right time.

A few days ago, I gave a printed copy of this picture to one of the friars at St. Patrick’s Church, the house of worship that operates Holy Family Parish.  I thought it would be appropriate to share a treasured shot like this with the church.

Rainbow above Holy Family Parish.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Rainbow above Holy Family Parish. Photo by Chuck Miller.

ACTION UNDER THE BASKET

April 5, 2009, shot with Nikon D70

This overhead shot from the roof of Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. is one of my personal favorites.  During a playoff game between the Rochester Razorsharks and the Manchester Millrats, James “Mook” Reaves (lower right) is putting the ball in the hoop, while Manchester’s Sam Carey (left) and Marlowe Currie (right) can only watch.  Sammy Monroe (upper left) of the Rochester Razorsharks is there to back up Mook.  The photo won a ribbon at the 2009 New York State Fair, my first photographic competitive prize.

Action Under the Basket.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Action Under the Basket. Photo by Chuck Miller.

EMPIRE STATE PLAZA FIREWORKS

July 4, 2009, shot with Nikon D700

This was my first photo shoot with my new Nikon D700.  I set up my gear at the roof of the parking garage at the corner of Eagle and Madison, and as the sun set, I got some great shots.  I’m sure that not only was I enjoying the fireworks display, but I wager those guys who built the “man cave” in the parking garage were enjoying the fireworks from their secret sanctum sanctorum.  As long as they didn’t get in the way of my shot…

Empire State Plaza Fireworks.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Empire State Plaza Fireworks. Photo by Chuck Miller.

FOUR-PART DUNK IN TRAINING CAMP

October 5, 2009, shot with Nikon D700

Testing out the “rapid-fire” feature on my D700, I got this player at a Manchester Millrats training camp executing a slam dunk.  I stitched the four pictures of him before – during – and after the dunk, and combined them into one image.  Sweet.

Four-Part Dunk in Training Camp.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Four-Part Dunk in Training Camp. Photo by Chuck Miller.

MICHAEL ANDERSON SLAMS FOR TWO

February 28, 2009.  Shot with Nikon D70.

The Quebec Kebs didn’t have many highlights last season, but one of the highlights they DID have was Michael Anderson.  He was one of their leading scorers, and he punctuated a lot of his dunks with this fierce face.  I caught this one at a Kebs-Halifax Rainmen game in February, and you can see that not only did Michael Anderson score, he also wanted to make sure everyone in the building knew he scored.

Michael Anderson slams for two.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Michael Anderson slams for two. Photo by Chuck Miller.

SCREAM UNTIL MOM STOPS THE CAR

May 31, 2009.  Shot with Nikon D70.

It was Sunday morning and I was driving up Route 5, when I saw Bumpy’s Polar Freeze ice cream place.  The advertising tag on the bottom of the Bumpy’s sign was just so funny, I had to get a picture of it.  A few days later, I discovered – by checking my flickr account – that my Bumpy’s picture had been picked up by someone on their Twitter account.  Hey, whatever works works, right?

Scream Until Mom Stops the Car. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Scream Until Mom Stops the Car. Photo by Chuck Miller.

SMILE FOR THE CAMERA, HAZEL!

September 5, 2009, shot with Nikon D700 and Kenko 180 fisheye lens

I tested out my D700 with a Kenko 180-degree screw-on fisheye lens.  Hazel and her owner were walking around Washington Park, I asked if they would pose for a picture.  What you don’t see in this shot is that one millisecond after I took this photo, Hazel decided to take a big slobby lick of my camera lens.

Smile for the camera, Hazel! Photo by Chuck Miller.
Smile for the camera, Hazel! Photo by Chuck Miller.

These are some of the photos I’ve enjoyed shooting during calendar year 2009.  Of course, one of my new year’s resolutions is to improve on my skills, so that when January 1, 2011 rolls around, I can put up ten photos from 2010 that are superior to the ones I’ve got up in this blog post.

Trivia Bowl 6 is coming…

February 6, 2010. The day before the Super Bowl. The day before the big game, there will be the “big game” for the best trivia teams in the Capital District.

Yes indeedy doo, it’s the sixth edition of the legendary Trivia Bowl, and this year it will be at the new Wolf 1-11 restaurant and bar on Wolf Road.

I’ve competed in four of the first five Trivia Bowls, winning the title in 2007, and just missing out in 2008 and 2009.  The team of “Lynch’s Mob” won the Trivia Bowl in 2005 and 2006 when the game was hosted at the Hooters in Crossgates Mall; the championship moved to Broadway Joe’s in 2008, where “Stern Fans” took the title, and in 2009, a capacity competition at Broadway Joes saw “Sh@tload” win the chalice.

The “chalice” is actually an old Hooters wing bowl mounted on a wooden base.  The base contains the names of the winning team and all the teammates.  It’s sorta like the Stanley Cup of the trivia cognoscenti.

Trivia Rich Mahady with the Trivia Bowl
"Trivia Rich" Mahady with the Trivia Bowl

Yeah, I could post a picture of myself holding the Trivia Bowl, but I thought people would appreciate this photo instead.  “Trivia Rich” Mahady was part of Lynch’s Mob when that team won the championship in 2005 and 2006, and I got this picture of him with the Trivia Bowl at Christmas 2007.

The questions for Trivia Bowl are much more difficult than the standard bar trivia questions any other time of the year.  A two-point easy question in Trivia Bowl might be, “In what year did the American flag first have 50 stars?” (1960, the flag is changed on the July 4th after a state is annexed).  The quadruple bonus question might be, “Name the four athletes that appeared as ‘Future Stars’ on the first issue of ESPN the Magazine.” (Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Lindros and Kordell Stewart).

The final questions will often be “murder” questions, in which if you don’t know the answer, guessing won’t help.  They often will be questions like, “What TV show was the first show to end Frasier’s 6-year-run of winning an Emmy for best comedy of the year?” (Ally McBeal).  Or, “Who played Buddy Holly in the film La Bamba?”  (Marshall Crenshaw).  Or, “In what year did Terry Bradshaw play his last professional football game?” (1984).

And the competition will be fierce.  You’re not going up against the two or three teams in the bar.  You’re going up against the top teams from EVERY bar and tavern and restaurant.  And in this game, the hosts are hypervigilant on the use of cell phones – turn them off, leave them in your car, don’t use them under any circumstances.  True story – at Trivia Bowl 4, one person actually went up to Baker during a break and asked if he could at least call his wife, who was about to go into labor, just to check on how she was doing.  He even promised to make the call next to Baker, so there would be no impropriety of him using this “baby about to be born” as a code for “What theater first hosted ‘Star Wars’ in Albany?”  (It was Cine 1-2-3-4-5-6 in Northway Mall).

More details about Trivia Bowl 6 can be found at the Trivia Nights Live website.